How to protect your car from salt damage
While different salt formulations may cause damage faster than others, these general tips are your best bet regardless of the type that’s used in your area:
- Wax your vehicle every year, right before winter weather begins.
- Get the salt off your car ASAP after driving through it. (Even if you’re someone who prefers to wash your car yourself, this is a good excuse for a trip to the car wash.)
- Don’t skip the undercarriage. Whether washing your car yourself or picking a car wash, make sure there’s a way to spray off the bottom/underneath part of the car.
- Consider pre-treating the undercarriage. This is something some auto body shops offer.
- Do a pre-winter check of the vehicle. Either slide under the car yourself (if you know what you’re doing) or have a professional do it. The aim is to spot any potential weak or rusting parts and take care of them before the winter road salt does.
- Stay away from puddles and plow trucks. This is good winter driving advice in general (you never know how deep that puddle is going to be), but also helpful in terms of salt. Puddles tend to have a lot of salt in them, and while it may seem safer, driving directly behind (or close to) a plow/salt truck positions your vehicle for maximum salt exposure.